Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Mid Atlantic USA
With the same number of years in embedded and high performance and real-time software development I still do not buy it. A great deal of the basic body control software will be very similar to other vehicles they have. You are making sound like this is their first “computer” system in a car. The OTA software capability is not as huge a deal as you make it up to be, it requires a data path, and very robust fail safe method of updating the firmware. These things are all very well developed and are not at all unique to cars.
The most complex and unique bit of the code is the drivetrain and that is not general “software development,” it is highly specialized code. I do not believe they are “behind” in that. The infotainment is the most bloated and most lines of code, specially the graphic heavy “visual” elements and its the easiest to update over the air. The drivetrain control software is developed and tested at the same time as the drivetrain as it requires tuning and testing. The changes, like the one JLR release, may come from data collection and refinements, it won’t delay release of the car.
While it is true that Tesla has done a good job in the software systems of their cars, its really neither unique nor as big of a deal as everyone makes it out to be. They were just willing to push less tested core which could have bad consequences while traditional manufacturers run long complex tests and did not release updates into the wild unless necessary or in model year transitions. And they have opened up the car infotainment module to more “apps” take that as you will, pro or con.
JLRs big mistakes were using embedded Windows and probably using frameworks that are “supposed” to allow rapid and “crash proof” code, while in reality they end up being bloatware, unresponsive, terminated by errors rather than caught in development, and absolutely not able to be real time due to framework issues like garbage collection.
It ain’t magic.